Now that Tyson has been here for a few days it’s become painfully obvious that there’s a juvenile delinquent in my house, and I don’t mean Rex. Tyson is a little over a year old. As the ubiquitous “they” say, in human years he’s about seven years old. Like a seven year old, everything fascinates him and everything must be tested until it breaks, explodes, or screams for mercy. So far, I’ve caught him wandering around with a wristwatch, a sock, and a television remote control in his mouth. A stuffed rat, a tube of white acrylic paint, and a roll of duct tape have all exploded. And Rex has screamed for mercy on three different occasions. Oh yeah, and a throw pillow was actually thrown.
Putting things out of Tyson’s reach is useless, because his legs are freakishly long and he can pretty much reach anything. I’d have to glue everything to the ceiling to keep it from him. This means I’ve spent the past three days on his tail, watching and waiting for him to touch his nose to anything that shouldn’t be touched, at the ready to say a stern NO! when he tries to take something that doesn’t belong to him. It seems to be working, because nothing has been destroyed or mysteriously vanished today.
While keeping a stern and watchful eye on him is tiresome, it has impressed upon Tyson that I’m the boss. At first he was very anxious about being here and would run away from me, cowering, when I reprimanded him. But now he’ll duck his head sheepishly and walk up to me after I tell him not to do something, ready to given a more productive task, like sitting or laying down, or to be given something he’s allowed to chew on, like a bone or Rex’s throat.
Fortunately, Rex seems to like Tyson. Unfortunately, Tyson seems to look to Rex for guidance. If Rex sits down, Tyson sits down. If Rex runs to the stairs to see if someone is coming through the front door, Tyson is close on his heels. If Rex jumps on a visitor–wait, what do I mean by “if?” The good thing is that I can use this to my advantage. By working with Rex I can train Tyson by osmosis. Today we went for a walk and, at first, Tyson was all over the place. Off-leash, Rex can act like a retarded kangaroo on speed. But when he’s on a leash, Rex is brilliant. I switched them so they were both side by side on my left. After a block, Tyson was following Rex’s behavior, and I suddenly had two impressive dogs walking at my side. I’m going to have to work regular walks into our routine.
Because of all this, I’m recommending that Tyson be adopted into a home with an older dog (not a retarded pickle eating kangaroo-dog on speed) that he can look to for guidance. I think he’d love to have kids to follow around. I’ve gently pulled on his legs and played with his ears while he was sleeping (Don’t try this at home, kids!) and he only grinned, stretched, and fell into an even deeper sleep while I did it. I’ve nudged him with my knee and pet him while he’s eating, and he didn’t seem to care, which is great. He has no aggressions, as far as I can tell. He’s a good boy. Like any kid, he just needs proper guidance.